Comedian Wanda Sykes says the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in California has led to her be more outspoken about being gay.”You know, I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life,” Sykes told a crowd at a gay rights rally in Las Vegas on Saturday. “Everybody that knows me personally, they know I’m gay. But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives,” she said. Sykes, 44, also revealed that she had wed her girlfriend in California less than two weeks before the new law went into effect. “When my wife and I leave California, I want to have my marriage also recognized in Nevada, in Arizona, all the way to New York,” she said, adding that the gay community’s galvanization over the state ban would lead to grassroots action on the federal level.
Sykes also disputed the much-reported claim that 70 percent of black voters in California voted to ban gay marriage. Several prominent writers, including Dan Savage, have railed against homophobic blacks. Wanda said the exit polls were wrong and admonished the press, “Please stop spreading that 70 percent of African-Americans voted Yes on Prop 8 because it’s just not true.”
Sykes, who is known for her feisty and blunt style, said the passage of California’s Proposition 8 made her feel like she was “attacked.” “Now, I gotta get in their face,” she said. “I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”